Conquer the Causes of Trauma by Deconstructing, Demystifying & “Un-demonizing” the word “Trauma” itself.
We hear it all the time: traumatic events, traumatic childhood, PTSD...the world has never seemed so wrought with trauma. It seems to be all around us, lurking around every corner, affecting people we know (or us; making us suffer), and generations of parents and developmental psychologists have done everything in their power to protect children from being traumatized. But what if trauma has received a bad wrap? What if it is misunderstood. Not the pain of trauma, but the actual causes of that pain? And what if there was a bright side to trauma? As painful and difficult as it can be, what if there was some good we could get out of it, instead of just pain and suffering?
The fact is, trauma plays an important role in the psychological healing process. Wait, what? You read that right: psychological healing process.
Most people have bought into the notion—hook, line and sinker—that trauma is responsible for various forms of mental illness. The origins of this belief can be traced back to World War I, when the term shellshock was used to describe soldiers returning from the front whose central nervous system had appeared to have effectively snapped. And the connection was made between the traumatic event and its obvious effects on the afflicted individual.
No psychologist nor neuroscientist has ever adequately explained why it is that two individuals, with very similar upbringing, can undergo the exact same traumatic event and only one becomes ‘scarred for life,’ while the other emerges apparently unscathed. Psychologists and neurologists have no appreciation for the Analogous Ultimate Methodology of Psychology, nor are they aware of the actual causes of psychological pain. So naturally, they point to external events and/or ‘childhood trauma’ as scapegoats for mental illness.
For starters, let us understand there are two types of trauma: sudden and sustained. The first is a single intensely traumatic momentary event, like a school shooting. The second is numerous intense traumatic events which occur over an extended period of time—weeks, months, even years—like child abuse. We can understand them both as different forms of physical/psychological pain: the sudden impact of a bullet to the head versus the slow, methodical, relentless drip, drip, drip of Chinese water torture. The result is the same: a lasting impact on the psyche. But why? Surely it is in the best interest of the mind to let go of such trauma. Why does it seem to cling to it?
To answer that, we must first understand that trauma is not actually responsible for PTSD. Imagine being shot with an arrow. Painful, to be sure. Now imagine the arrow is removed and the wound sown up, but the stitches become infected. The pain and suffering you experience are symptoms of an immune response to an infection. It is your own immune system causing the pain, not the arrow. PTSD is just like that. The trauma allows an existing psychological antigen (ego) to express itself where before it could not. And the psychological immune system—the AUM of Psychology—kicks into gear to deal with that antigen. It is a similar process which causes PTSD symptoms.
Let's look at an example. Let's imagine you were attacked by a dog as a young child (a common occurrence). Whether a new ego of fear was created in that moment or an existing ego of fear was triggered, the point is, from that point forward you are terrified of dogs. You may become paralyzed with fear whenever a dog approaches. Whenever you encounter a dog, that ego runs its program, "dog bad," and you "relive the trauma" of the childhood event On the surface this all looks like a bad thing; maybe even a terrible thing. But if you consider the alternatives: how else might that ego of fear express itself? Your phobia of dogs may actually be preventing that ego of fear from turning into a phobia of people, or water, or other much more inconvenient phenomena. And, besides, that phobia, however painful it may be, gives you a clear target to observe and be mindful of. That ego of fear, once hidden and lurking and waiting to "infect you" is now in the open. And like the immune system, detection of an infection is the first step to its removal; mindfulness of an ego is the first step to eradicating it from our psyche by moving through all the steps of the AUM of Psychology.
In many Latin-based languages as well as in English, the prefix trans denotes movement across, as in transport, transmit, transfer, etc. Similarly, TR- is used as a short-form of trans, as in traverse, which literally means trans-adverse, to move across or overcome an adverse circumstance. TR of course also begins the word trauma.
And what are we traversing, moving through? AUM—Analogous Ultimate Methodology—the AUM of Life; and by extension, the AUM of Psychology. If you have followed our posts and website, you know that AUM necessities a descent before any ascent. There is no moving through or with AUM without some pain, without knowing discomfort at best and extreme pain at worst. There is no growth without challenge; no traversing the path of life without adversity to traverse! We all intuitively know this: no pain, no gain. Whether we're struggling through a math problem, creating micro-tears in muscle fiber as we lift weights in the gym, or even subjecting ourselves to a dentist's drill, we put ourselves in uncomfortable, even painful situations all the time because we know there's light at the end of the tunnel. It's NO DIFFERENT for trauma, if we let go our preconceptions about it and choose to embrace its true nature...Mother Nature's tough love.
The final letter of trauma, A, produces the final sound MA. This is the universal sound every baby in every culture since the dawn of time has made in the company of its mother: ma, mama, amma, et al. Ma is a primordial neurolinguistic recognition of a mother’s love for her child: nurturing embrace, nourishing milk, and severity and mercy in equal measure.
Thus comprehended, Tr-AUM-Ma is the traversal of AUM for our own sake, in accordance with the severity and mercy of Mother Nature, present in all natural systems, but especially in healing systems where—like the previously mentioned immune response to infection—a great deal of discomfort and pain is a part of eradicating the antigen.
So it is not the triggering event that’s the problem! In fact, your mind cannot let go of the triggering event precisely because there is a psychological aggregate (an ego) which is deliberately replaying it over and over to keep us obsessed with the external trauma and continue distracting us from the real culprit of our suffering (the internal ego). Meanwhile, the fact that ego is replaying the event over and over is its ultimate vulnerability: because if we learn how to dispassionately and objectively observe ourselves and retrospect on the traumatic event, we can comprehend how the ego is using that event as a scapegoat and means to keep us in suffering, like the infected scar from our arrow-wound example, above.
The key, then, is to dig into and beneath the wound, and clean out the infection! Even if it means “opening up old wounds,” once we recognize that it’s not the arrow which created the antigen, but merely triggered the opportunistic antigen from expressing itself, we no longer need to fear the memory of the triggering event. We completely change our perspective on what trauma is and where the true cause of PTSD lies. Not only that, we can observe how the underlying egos operate to manipulate us, distract us, and torment us. We can learn its ways, no longer obsessing over the traumatic event(s) or falling into the victim mentality.
Last but not least, we can work through the AUM of Psychology in the usual way—including mindfulness, diagnosis, analysis, synthesis, catharsis, liberation and Self-Knowledge—
Here we see that trauma is merely a triggering event; and, that the ego(s) which were triggered by the event actually responsible for our pain and suffering lurk in our three brains and five centers (and certainly, those suffering from PTSD can attest to countless symptoms including physical).
In the event that our ego(s) prevent us from remembering the traumatic event, the same process of AUM applies: what other things are said ego(s) responsible for? The secret to being able to overcome trauma is always to comprehend the ego(s) which the traumatic event triggered, and the pain and suffering they are causing us now, in this moment, moment by moment, is where we always begin to do the work of eradicating them from our psyche.
Learn more about the AUM of Psychology and how to overcome trauma at our upcoming retreat:
Like everything in life, the AUM of Life cannot merely be understood intellectually. If you think reading this article is all you need to start healing yourself of the pain and suffering triggered by some traumatic event(s) in your life, you will be sorely disappointed. There is much more to working with your own inner AUM, not least how it can give you a whole new perspective on all the circumstances of your life—yes, including whatever traumas you may have endured…
Help us help you begin practising the AUM of Psychology in a safe and beautiful setting. Learn to work with the flow of AUM in your life and allow yourself to comprehend why that traumatic event actually serves you in your own personal hero’s journey.
To learn more and to register, visit https://www.gnousys.com/retreats.